Last fall, American diplomats received grim news that border guards in Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. partner in the Middle East, were using lethal force against African migrants who were trying to enter the kingdom from Yemen.
The diplomats got more detail in December, when United Nations officials presented them with information about Saudi security forces shooting, shelling and abusing migrants, leaving many dead and wounded, according to U.S. officials and a person who attended the meetings, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
In the months since, American officials have not publicly criticized the Saudis’ conduct, although State Department officials said this past week, following a published report of the killings, that U.S. diplomats have raised the issue with their Saudi counterparts and asked them to investigate.
It remains unclear whether those discussions have affected Saudi actions.
The Saudi security forces’ violence along the border came to the fore in a report by Human Rights Watch on Monday that accused them of shooting and firing explosive projectiles at Ethiopian migrants, killing hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of them during the 15-month period that ended in June.
United Nations, State Department, Saudi, Human Rights
Saudi Arabia, U.S, Yemen, Saudi